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Ecotourism in the Algarve

No one starts the year without adding a memorable holiday to their list of resolutions, but many save that moment of pure tranquillity for the summer. If this is the case for you, and think that holidays in winter do not make sense, read our suggestions for a holiday in the Algarve in the middle of winter, with activities surrounded by nature. If you have always associated the Algarve with summer and beaches, you should read about what awaits you in this region with various ecotourism activities. Do you feel ready for an adventure in an unknown Algarve?

But before you learn our tips for ecotourism activities in the Algarve, we want you to be familiar with the ecotourism concept or nature tourism. It is a new form of tourism that invites visitors to get to know places and sustainably interact with the environment, also promoting environmental education and conservation.

Visitors get to know places of natural and cultural heritage and also take part in environmental education activities. The team at Estrela da Luz believes this is the future of our guests' holidays. So, we do our part to ensure sustainability on the grounds of our resort. Various measures are being implemented, both in the flats and in the common areas. We want to do even better and hope our guests will support us in our mission to make the Algarve an even greener destination.


Things to do in the Algarve - Ecotourism Activities

1. Birdwatching

The Algarve is divided into two parts: the Western Algarve and the Eastern Algarve, and this region has some of Portugal's best birdwatching spots. It is also a jumping-off point for birding trips to other regions and even other countries. Rare birds from Northern Europe, North America, and Africa stop by. It is a photographer's, birdwatcher's, ornithologist's, and researcher's dream.

You can birdwatch at ten different sites classified as important birding areas - IBA - starting with a place near Estrela da Luz on the Costa Vicentina. Here, on the sea cliffs, is the only place where the white stork nests, and you can also see the Bonelli's eagle and other equally spectacular species. To know all the places for bird watching, read this guide with interesting tips on the subject.

There are some activities throughout the year, such as the Festival of Birdwatching and Nature Activities, that take place in Sagres in early autumn. If you book your holiday for another time of year, you can join organised half-day or full-day tours in the Eastern Algarve and Alentejo.

2. Observing the Algarve coast

In the summer, a trip to the beach is ideal for relaxing, recharging your batteries, and basking in the sun on a beach towel. The adventure begins in winter when you can see the Algarve coast from above as you've never seen it before. The Algarve has a unique feature that will amaze everyone, whether by land or sea, and the best part is that it can be done in a completely sustainable manner.

There are 300 sunny days a year in the Algarve, so a solar-powered boat runs from Portimão. It's one of the cleanest means of transport in the region, and even if the sun is not shining, you do not have to worry because the boat is powered by electricity stored in batteries.

On board this boat you can enjoy four experiences, the first being the most popular among visitors to the Algarve: the trip to the caves of Benagil and the Algarve coast. It's no coincidence that this is one of the most sought-after destinations for visitors to the Algarve, as the Benagil Cave has a chimney (a natural rock formation) from which you can watch the sky, and a secret beach inside the cave. You can only reach this place by boat.

The second experience takes you upstream on the river Arade to the mediaeval town of Silves, the former capital of the Kingdom of the Algarve. For those seeking a moment of relaxation, the third experience aboard this boat is best. Enjoy the sunset at the famous Praia da Rocha in Portimão while dancing and having a refreshing drink. The fourth and final experience is suitable for groups of friends who want to have fun while preserving the ocean's biodiversity. You have exclusive use of the solar-powered boat and can choose your destination.

3. Geocaching - Nature Hikes

Have you ever heard of this outdoor activity? It's the best way to get in touch with nature and discover fantastic places in search of treasures. Thanks to the signal GPS (available since 2 May 2000), you can follow the tracks along new paths until you reach the cache, a small box of objects (everyday items that geocachers leave behind and exchange with each other), with a logbook and a stash note (note explaining what geocaching is for everyone).

Anyone who wants to embark on this "treasure hunt" only has to create an account on the official geocaching website and follow the instructions. There are different levels of difficulty, ranging from 1 to 5, with level 1 being easy and level 5 is very difficult. On the website, you will find the level of difficulty to find the cache and the level of difficulty of the terrain itself. Start with the easiest until you understand how this activity works.

This "treasure hunt" has found followers all over the world, and there are also various caches to search for in the Algarve. To start geocaching, you will need comfortable shoes and clothes (especially for long walks), a mobile phone with GPS and a sense of adventure. This outdoor activity also allows you to learn about the area where the cache is located, and if you find rubbish nearby, you should pick it up. To become part of the big geocaching family, follow these tips.


Plan a getaway before the summer and explore the Algarve's hidden gems. The ecotourism or nature tourism activities we present are only the first three you can participate in. Contact our reception team for more eco-friendly activity suggestions.